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Technical Paper

A Thermal Analysis of Active-flow Control on Diesel Engine Aftertreatment

One-dimensional transient modeling techniques are adapted to analyze the thermal behavior of lean-burn after-treatment systems when active flow control schemes are applied. The active control schemes include parallel alternating flow, partial restricting flow, and periodic flow reversal (FR) that are found to be especially effective to treat engine exhausts that are difficult to cope with conventional passive flow converters. To diesel particulate filters (DPF), lean NOx traps (LNT), and oxidation converters (OC), the combined use of active flow control schemes are identified to be capable of shifting the exhaust gas temperature, flow rate, and oxygen concentration to more favorable windows for the filtration, conversion, and regeneration processes. Comparison analyses are made between active flow control and passive flow control schemes in investigating the influences of gas flow, heat transfer, chemical reaction, oxygen concentration, and converter properties.
Technical Paper

An Investigation on the Regeneration of Lean NOx Trap Using Ethanol and n-Butanol

Reduction of nitrogen oxides (NOx) in lean burn and diesel fueled Compression Ignition (CI) engines is one of the major challenges faced by automotive manufacturers. Lean NOx Trap (LNT) and urea-based Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) exhaust after-treatment systems are well established technologies to reduce NOx emissions. However, each of these technologies has associated advantages and disadvantages for use over a wide range of engine operating conditions. In order to meet future ultra-low NOx emission norms, the use of both alternative fuels and advanced after-treatment technology may be required. The use of an alcohol fuel such as n-butanol or ethanol in a CI engine can reduce the engine-out NOx and soot emissions. In CI engines using LNTs for NOx reduction, the fuel such as diesel is utilized as a reductant for LNT regeneration.
Technical Paper

Boosted Current Spark Strategy for Lean Burn Spark Ignition Engines

Spark ignition systems with the capability of providing spark event with either higher current level or longer discharge duration has been developed in recent years to help IC engines towards clean combustion with higher efficiency under lean/diluted intake charge. In this research, a boosted current spark strategy was proposed to investigate the effect of spark discharge current level and discharge duration on the combustion process. Firstly, the discharge characteristics of a boosted current spark system were tested with a traditional spark plug under crossflow conditions, and results showed that the spark channel was more stable, and was stretched much longer when the discharge current was boosted. Then the boosted current strategy was used in a spark ignition engine operating under lean conditions. Boosted current was added to the spark channel with different timing, duration, and current levels.
Technical Paper

Empirical Study of Energy in Diesel Combustion Emissions with EGR Application

Modern diesel engines were known for producing ultra-low levels of hydrogen and hydrocarbons. However, as emission control techniques such as exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) are implemented to meet stringent NOx standards, the resulting increase in partial-combustion products can be significant in quantity both as pollutants and sources of lost engine efficiency. In this work, a modern common-rail diesel engine was configured to investigate the EGR threshold for elevated carbon monoxide, hydrocarbon, and hydrogen emissions at fixed loads and fixed heat-release phasing. It is noted that increase in hydrocarbons, in particular light hydrocarbons (such as methane, ethylene, and acetylene) was concurrent with ultra-low NOx emissions. Hydrogen gas can be emitted in significant quantities with the application of very high EGR. Under ultra-low NOx production conditions for medium and high load conditions, the light hydrocarbon species can account for the majority of hydrocarbon emissions.
Technical Paper

High Energy Ignition Strategies for Diluted Mixtures via a Three-Pole Igniter

A three-pole spark igniter, with the concept to broaden the ignition area, is employed in this paper to investigate the effect of spark discharge strategies on the early ignition burning process. The prototyped three-pole igniter has three independent spark gaps arranged in a triangular pattern with a circumradius of 2.3 mm. Direct-capacitor discharge techniques, utilizing close-coupled capacitors parallel to the spark gap, are applied on the three-pole igniter to enhance either the transient spark power or the overall energy. In particular, the simultaneous discharge of high energy plasma on three spark gaps can produce a surface-like ignition process which intensifies the plasma-flame interaction, thereby producing a rapid flame kernel development. The ignition strategies are evaluated in both constant volume combustion vessels and a modified single-cylinder metal engine.
Technical Paper

Hydrocarbon Speciation of Diesel Ignited Ethanol and Butanol Engines

Dual fuel applications of alcohol fuels such as ethanol or butanol through port injection with direct injection of diesel can be effective in reduction of NOx. However, these dual fuel applications are usually associated with an increase in the incomplete combustion products such as hydrocarbons (HC), carbon monoxide (CO), and hydrogen (H2) emissions. An analysis of these products of incomplete combustion and the resulting combustion efficiency penalty was made in the diesel ignited alcohol combustion modes. The effect of EGR application was evaluated using ethanol and butanol as the port injected fuel, with varying alcohol fractions at the mid-load condition (10 -12 bar IMEP). The impact of varying the engine load (5 bar to 19 bar IMEP) in the diesel ignited ethanol mode on the incomplete combustion products was also studied. Emission measurements were taken and the net fuel energy loss as a result of the incomplete combustion was estimated.
Technical Paper

Ignition Improvement for Ultra-Lean Dilute Gasoline Combustion

In this work, a spatially distributed spark ignition strategy was employed to improve the ignition process of well-mixed ultra-lean dilute gasoline combustion in a high compression ratio (13.1:1) single cylinder engine at partial loads. The ignition energy was distributed in the perimeter of a 3-pole igniter. It was identified that on the basis of similar total spark energy, the 3-pole ignition mode can significantly shorten the early flame kernel development period and reduce the cyclic variation of combustion phasing, for the spark timing sweep tests at λ 1.5. The effect of ignition energy level on lean-burn operation was investigated at λ 1.6. Within a relatively low ignition energy range, i.e. below 46 mJ per pole, the increase in ignition energy via ether 1 pole or 3 pole can improve the controllability over combustion phasing and reduce the variability of lean burn combustion. Higher ignition energy was required in order to enable ultra-lean engine operation with λ above 1.6.
Technical Paper

Preliminary Energy Efficiency Analyses of Diesel EGR Fuel Reforming with Flow Reversal and Central Fuelling

The diesel fuel reforming process in an exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) loop of a diesel engine is capable of utilizing the engine exhaust energy to support the endothermic process of hydrogen gas generation. However, the EGR stream commonly needs to be heated to enable the operation of the reformer and thus to sustain higher yield of hydrogen. A central-fuelling and flow-reversal embedment that is energy-efficient to raise the central temperatures of the catalytic flow-bed is therefore devised and tested to drastically reduce the supplemental heating to the EGR reformer. One-dimensional modeling analyses are conducted to evaluate the fuel delivery strategies and temperature profiles of the reformer at various reforming gas flow rates and engine-out exhaust temperatures and compositions. This research attempts to quantify the energy saving by the catalytic flow-reversal and central-fuelling embedment in comparison to a unidirectional flow EGR reformer.